In an otherwise lackluster performance (we could call it embarrassing) against the Chargers Thursday night, there were a few Cowboys who stood out.
Offensively, the entire first-team line looked great after its poor first play. Behind them, Joe Randle looked very strong. So did Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams, Gavin Escobar, and James Hanna (with the notable exception of his inability to handle the rush from the edge that resulted in the first half strip sack). And Ryan Williams showed why he was a second round draft pick on many of his runs, which took place behind the second and third team offensive lines.
There were nowhere near as many positive reports from the defensive side of the team, as San Diego was pretty much able to run and pass at will against the Cowboys. That said, Davon Coleman played most of the game and had some moments.
Ahmad Dixon led the team in tackles – many of them leaving statements behind – before he left with concussion symptoms. His coverage abilities may need work, but he is a hitter – something this defense needs badly. If he continues to play like he did in his first game as a Cowboy, he'll be difficult to keep off the 53-man roster.
Kyle Wilbur had a few flashes, and Anthony Hitchens was around the ball a lot, despite missing his lanes at times. Overall, there wasn't much to cheer about on defense, and Cowboys fans must hope that their missing starters will make a major difference in subsequent games. With no pass rush and next-to-no run defense, the Cowboys will be hoping that Henry Melton, Terrell McClain, Anthony Spencer, Ben Bass, George Selvie, Rolando McClain, Barry Church, Brandon Carr, Orlando Scandrick, and Morris Claiborne will make a difference when the season starts.
When you consider those ten missing defensive players, it does make last night's defensive embarrassment feel a little less overwhelming.